Click here to close now.



Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Jason Bloomberg, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Sanjay Zalavadia, Xenia von Wedel

Blog Feed Post

Realtime Messaging with Pusher

Realtime Messaging with Pusher

Every application has it’s dark corner. Some part of the application of which you are not proud of. That part of the application is working code, it’s in production for some time but you still have an uneasy feeling about it. You fear that it will come back at you at the worst possible time.

At Codeship one of these parts was our Dashboard reload. In this article I will show you how we made it awesome.

The Codeship Project Dashboard

When you are on your dashboard, or watching the builds of a particular project or observe a certain build.

Watching the builds of a particular project

Watching the builds of a particular project

We are updating the page without you having to hit reload all the time. Every time a new build starts or we receive some new output from your test commands we update the page and you can see the changes instantly.

Back to the past

Previously, we did the most simple implementation you can think of. There was a Javascript timeout on each of the 3 pages and we would just reload the page every 10 seconds. That’s not close to instant but it got the job done and it worked for more than 1 year. That’s still impressive. As you can imagine there is a lot of room for improvements.

Realtime Updates with Pusher

Over the time we optimized this feature step by step. We added some checks which allowed us the respond with a 304 (Content not modified) for not having to render the page again and again even when there are no updates. The next step was to let the client save the last time it got updates from the server and included that information in the next request. This allowed us to just deliver the missing parts. We were still having that 10 second page reload. We decided to change that!

The web changed dramatically in recent years. Web sockets have been around for quite some time now and a huge ecosystem evolved around these new technologies. We never had the intention to implement our own realtime push infrastructure, thats totally out of focus. We needed somebody who handles and provides a reliable push infrastructure for us. In the back of my head i knew about PusherApp, checking their site in the past but never having a good use case to actually use Pusher.

37 changed files with 315 additions and 159 deletions.

Implementing Pusher was quite easy and really fun. Let’s go into the details.

Private Channels

PusherApp supports private channels, this basically means the Pusher Javascript asks your application if it is allowed to subscribe to the channel. They have a simple naming convention, private channels need to start with the word “private”. Our private channels look like this: “private-build-190852″ where 190852 is the build id. The same goes for the project channels.

The Javascript sends a POST request to /pusher/auth and you need to either return a 200 or a 403. You need to authorize the client with the pusher service to let them know the client is actually allowed to receive updates. Using the Pusher Gem this is just a few lines of ruby. How you decide if a client can subscribe to that private channel is totally up to you. In our case we check if the user is allowed to access the build or project.

def auth
    if pusher_access.can_access? params[:channel_name]
      response = Pusher[params[:channel_name]].authenticate(params[:socket_id])
      render json: response
    else
      render text: "Not authorized", status: 403
    end
end

Multiple Channels.

If you go to the Codeship Dashboard you can see multiple projects. If you have just 1 project you see builds from that project. If you have multiple projects you see the last 10 builds for these projects. In this case we subscribe to multiple channels. For example if I go to the dashboard I’m subscribed to the channels “private-project-7978″ and “private-project-211″. If there is a new build starting for one of those projects we send a message to that channel and everybody who watches that project in their dashboard gets the update.

The numbers

On a normal day we push 1.3 Million messages and have 300 concurrently connected clients.

Codeship – A hosted Continuous Deployment platform for web applications

What’s next

Right now we don’t include the updated parts into the message we send over Pusher. This means the client still does the page reload and gets the updates from the server. If we deliver the updates straight to the client we save a lot of requests which are not needed because we have the data that changed already in our hands at the time the push gets triggered.

What we think

We are very happy with the changes we made and Pusher itself. It made the application logic a lot simpler. We don’t check for not modified content anymore, since we only trigger reloads after changes happened. The next step is to push the modified content directly to all connected clients. I’m looking forward to the next improvements we gonna ship.

Let us know your experiences with Pusher. How do YOU achieve Realtime Messaging for your app?

Improve your dark corners today!

Further information

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Manuel Weiss

I am the cofounder of Codeship – a hosted Continuous Integration and Deployment platform for web applications. On the Codeship blog we love to write about Software Testing, Continuos Integration and Deployment. Also check out our weekly screencast series 'Testing Tuesday'!

@ThingsExpo Stories
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
"We work in the area of Big Data analytics and Big Data analytics is a very crowded space - you have Hadoop, ETL, warehousing, visualization and there's a lot of effort trying to get these tools to talk to each other," explained Mukund Deshpande, head of the Analytics practice at Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2016' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited t...
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profession...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
The idea of comparing data in motion (at the sensor level) to data at rest (in a Big Data server warehouse) with predictive analytics in the cloud is very appealing to the industrial IoT sector. The problem Big Data vendors have, however, is access to that data in motion at the sensor location. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Scott Allen, CMO of FreeWave, discussed how as IoT is increasingly adopted by industrial markets, there is going to be an increased demand for sensor data from the outermos...
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...